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Oct 21, 2011 02:21 PM

Tired of Mexican and "Gastropub" food. Other options, that are grain-free friendly?

I'm having trouble finding new places to eat! And my mouth wants something different from the same old I've been having lately. Sort of stumping me on my Google and Yelp and CH searches because I like to eat lacto-paleo. When dining out, I'm much more relaxed but I still don't like to eat too much rice, wheat, or corn. Sound like an interesting challenge, you jaded SD Chowhound experts? Read on! :)

- Grains are not the star. Pasta and pizza places are pointless for me, because what is pizza without the crust? A sandwich shop without the in-house baked bread? I'm happy to sub veggies for grains at other places though.

- NOT "new american" or "gastropub" style. Comfort food is great, but I live in North Park and my eating partner lives in Normal Heights. We've covered this ground very thoroughly and want something new.

- No Mexican food, I eat carnitas and carne asada and guisados to death. UNLESS you can give me a personal recommendation for a Sinaloan place where I can get awesome pescado zarandeado and pulpo cocteles.

- Cheap is best, since I'm looking to expand my regular dining options, but I don't mind splurging occasionally.

- No more than 20-25 minutes away.

Thanks for any help!

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  1. Depending on traffic to meet your 20-25 minute requirement, Negro Durazo (2 locations) serves Sinaloan. Really great zarandeado and cocteles.

    16 Replies
      1. re: esquimeaux

        I saw you wrote it in above and I changed my answer.

        Negro Durazo in Lemon Grove is now on our 'rotation'. We went three times in one week and got the pescado zarandeado two of those times. I've gotten the 'Negro Durazo' cocteles and ceviche, both have pulpo and they are excellent.

        1. re: Cathy

          Where in LG? I knew about TJ and CV, is this a new location for them? Wow, so much closer than CV. Interesting info, thx

          1. re: DiningDiva

            94 at College Ave. That triangle of stores South at the exit that you pass if you take 94 West. BollWeevil and a sushi place are signs you see.

            1. re: Cathy

              So is it in College Grove Center or adjacent?

              1. re: DiningDiva

                Kitty corner. On south of 94. East of College At the "T" that is Broadway and Federal and College.

                I'm answering this from iPhone but will put up link with map ASAP.


                6954 Federal Boulevard (at Broadway) Lemon Grove 91945

                They don't have a website. I know you are coming from La Mesa. Take Broadway and instead of getting onto 94 West, go to the left toward College Grove. It's that mall on the right just before you turn onto College to go under the 94 to go to College Grove Mall.

                1. re: Cathy

                  Thx, know almost exactly where it is

          2. re: Cathy

            Do they have a website? I've had that dish at Marisco's Godoy, the pic looks really good.

            1. re: cstr

              No website.

              This location (I haven't been to the others) also serves breakfast, 8-12 daily.

              I seriously like the food here.

            2. re: Cathy

              Thanks for the post Cathy, I had a chance to get over to Negro Duzaro in LG, the pescado zarandeado was excellent and what a deal at $10.95. I mean I was all over that cabrillo fish skeleton like a pirana! Very flavorful. They've been at that location for about a year. The waitstaff was very accommodating and friendly, the place is clean and they take plastic. The menu is quite extensive with thorough explainations of the entrees, preparation methods and their ingredients. Will have to get back and try other entree's. Alex should get over there and give his take on it as well.

              1. re: cstr

                Is this the place sledge?


                if so, this place has this mariscos chicka nombre all over it..
                ; )

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Whoa. I've looked everywhere for a website...except the obvious name...
                  Thanks BC

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    yes it is BC, easy to get to, right off 94E at the College St exit, small strip mall on the right. There are 2 locations this one in LG and one in CV. Well worth the adventure.

                    1. re: cstr

                      Road trip to Lemon Grove..
                      DD, have you been?
                      Thanks Cathy for the good find.

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        I have not been yet. I'm dieting until Nov. 17th but then I'm free to try it.

            3. Go to Sab-e-Lee and get a big ol Tilapia, Thai sausage, or Thai jerky plate. Skip the rice.

              After that, work your way up Convoy street....Okan (Japanese small plates), numerous Korean BBQ places (no rice necessary!), and several Hot Pot restaurants that deserve numerous visits.
              I just went to a place called Little Sheep Mogolian Hot Pot (in the wasteland of Clairemont Mesa and Diane Ave) where you cook your veggies or meat in a broth sort of like Fondue but Asian style. Lots of interesting things there to try.

              None of these places are upscale or anything, but since you mentioned "Cheap" as a criteria I figure that isn't a concern.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MrKrispy

                - I love the Sab E Lee and Okan recs! Thanks!

                - I make a lot of KBBQ at home, but the Hot Pot rec sounds fun to me, this will be on the list too. Is hot pot the same as shabu shabu? I mean, the physics sound the same, but what's the flavors like?

                You're right, upscale does not matter to me. Thanks for the tips!

                1. re: esquimeaux

                  Little Sheep is the Chinese version of shabu shabu. Flavors in the broth are "stronger" than shabu shabu. Think jujube and other Chinese medicinal herb ingredients. Plus, you can get the spicy broth, which gets more flavorful and spicy as the meal goes on.

                  You can easily do a meal at Okan w/o any rice, wheat or grain whatsoever. Same for Yakyudori Yakitori, Buga Korean BBQ, Tsuruhashi, Sakura, Sab E Lee, Surati Farsan Mart and Punjabi Tandoor.

                  San Diego, CA, San Diego, CA

                  Surati Farsan Mart
                  9494 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

                  Punjabi Tandoor
                  9235 Activity Rd, San Diego, CA

              2. Coop's BBQ in Lemon Grove
                Tender Greens in Liberty Station for the salads w/ proteins on top
                Tsuruhashi Japanese BBQ on Convoy in the same shopping center as Sakura (not cheap)

                3904 Convoy St Ste 106, San Diego, CA 92111

                Tender Greens
                2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

                1. Sakura and Yakitori on Convoy

                  1. how about Persian, Greek, Turkish or Indian? all easy to do grain-free, just sub salad or extra veg for rice...and obviously skip the pita, naan, & anything with phyllo ;)

                    i'll defer to the current SD Hounds for specific restaurant recommendations as i haven't lived there for several years.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Of course, ghg! El Cajon is home to the 2nd largest population of Iraqis in the USA.

                      In El Cajon, my current favorites are Sammoon, Sultan and Ali Baba as well as the restaurant inside Valley Market and the kebabs you can get inside Kaelin's Market.

                      If you don't want to travel that far, there is a Mediterranean restaurant attached to Vine Ripe Market in La Mesa (it's under new ownership and I haven't looked at the menu, but every other restaurant located there gets its food from the market and has always been very fresh and good). There is also a restaurant inside Babylon Market in the Clairmont area. It is very good, as is the retaurant inside Parsian Market on Convoy.

                      Other Jordanian-owned restaurants in the College area I like: Garden Fresh (It says smoothies on the sign, but there is a whole restaurant also), Alborz (the bread here is my downfall and I do have to eat a Paleo diet) and Mystic Grill.

                      Alborz Restaurant
                      2672 Del Mar Heights Rd, Del Mar, CA 92014

                      Garden Fresh Restaurant
                      15822 Bernardo Center Dr Ste A, San Diego, CA 92127

                      Mystic Grill
                      6990 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91941

                      1. re: Cathy

                        El Cajon is home to the 2nd largest population of Iraqis in the USA.
                        that is a very cool bit of trivia. i had no idea! i really wish i'd known about CH when i was in grad school at SDSU - i missed out on tons of good chow in that area.